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Swiss unemployment lowest in 20 years

On 9 January 2023, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) published the latest figures for the Swiss labor market in 2022 showing unemployment at its lowest rate for 20 years.

Swiss unemployment lowest in 20 years

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2022 saw the development of a labour market increasingly characterised by a shortage of workers and an unemployment rate of 2.1%, said SECO. The unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points from 2.6% in 2021 to its lowest in 20 years.

Youth unemployment (15 to 24 year olds) fell 0.4 percentage points to 2.0% and the unemployment rate of older workers (50 to 64 year olds) dropped to 2.1% (-0.6 percentage points lower than 2021).

Economic recovery and falling unemployment made it increasingly difficult for companies to attract workers over the course of 2022 to the point of a cyclical labour shortage, said SECO.

Starting from a below average level at the end of 2021 (209,676 job seekers and 121,728 unemployed) the number of unemployed workers fell over the year, although from September 2022, the decline slowed.

At 96,941, the number of unemployed at the end of December 2022 was 24,787 lower (-20.4%) than in December 2021. The number of job seekers was 167,904, down by 41,772 (19.9%) compared to a year earlier.

Large unemployment differences between the Swiss (1.4%) and foreign (3.9%) residents and French- (3.1%)and German-speaking (1.7%) regions endured.

Unemployment is unlikely to remain at the current 20-year low. Due to the current slowdown in the economy, the demand for labour is likely to weaken in the current year, said SECO.

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